Biodiversity of Tropical Land

The tropical region is world's richest in terms of biodiversity. Over geological tim-escales, the tropics have had a more stable climate than the temperate zones. In the tropics, therefore, local species have continued to confine themselves to this region, whereas in temperate zones they have tended to disperse to other areas. Tropical communities are older than temperate ones and so there has been more time for them to evolve. This could have allowed them greater degree of specialization and local adaptation to occur. The warm temperatures and high humidities of most tropical areas provide favorable conditions for many species that are unable to survive in temperate areas. In the tropics there can be greater pressure from pests, parasites, and disease, which stops any single species from dominating, and so there is the opportunity for many species to coexist. Among plants, rates of outcrossing appear to be higher in the tropics, which can lead to higher levels of genetic variability. Tropical areas also receive more solar energy over the year, so tropical communities are more productive or have a greater resource base that can support a wider range of species (Michael 2001).

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